Narrative bridging


Narrative bridging is a method developed in 2010 to support the design process to organize, monitor, and control the generation of information (narrative) to create a meaningful interaction. The primary purpose of the method is to support the initial design phase in which the conceptual modelling takes place. This is a tiny part of the process, but perhaps the most critical as it is here that all the components are set that constrain the end result. The method has its origin in a situation of being short of helpful tools for analysing and explaining narrative processes, in creation of a meaning within the interactive media that support a design process involving a narrative [1].

Over the years the method has taken the shape of a colour scheme and squares. This is only a form that has been developed through the years of teaching design and narrative. It does not depict anything else than a framework for thinking, based on the goal to allow, despite background, for all to see and learn how the cognitive vehicle of narrative works. But in reality our thoughts are neither coloured or squared. Neither can our thinking be ranked in what order meaning-making activities are performed as they happen in a split-second. Instead the method should be seen as an aid to keep track on elements, their functions and motifs, when building patterns.

If you are curious to see how a few basic principles work from the perspective of a narrative constructor, please try following steps:


1. Take perspective
2. Set vision
2. Understand context
3. Understand people
4. Understand media
5. Understand possibilities
7. Refine/revise vision to reach a desired outcome

If the process felt familiar it is due to narration has been of concern since the Greeks, who cared for an understanding about how our thoughts “worked”, which has had a great influence on the Western culture and where the who, what, where, why and how questions are used to understand causal, spatial and temporal links between elements in a context.

Throughout this site Narrative bridging will be used to keep track on our understanding of the cognitive impact of narrative on our engagement as to attract attention, create emotions, and stimulate thinking. How Narrative bridging will be presented depends very much on the inquires you might have and like to understand and solve.

[1] Gyllenbäck, K, Boman, M (2010). Narrative bridging. Design Computing and Cognition ’10. Edited by John S Gero. Springerlink. pp 525-544
Pdf: GyllenbackBoman publication 2010

To learn more about Narrative bridging, don´t miss:

Why you shouldn´t throw away ideas
Why there is no perfect narrative
Where I work there are no conflicts